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Wells Wants To Beef Up Bike Laws

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The view from a cyclists mounted helmet camera after being run off the road in Northeast D.C. earlier this month.
The view from a cyclists mounted helmet camera after being run off the road in Northeast D.C. earlier this month.

With its popular bike sharing program and dedicated lanes for cyclists, the District has earned a reputation as one of the most bike-friendly cities around. 

But it’s not always easy for cars and bikes to share the road, and that tension led to an ugly incident this month that was captured on camera. Now, one lawmaker is proposing a bill to give cyclists more rights on the road.

The video appears to show a driver in a truck cursing at a man on a bicycle before deliberately running the cyclist off the road. 

The video went viral and now D.C. Council Member Tommy Wells says he will propose a measure to make it easier for cyclists to punish drivers who harass them. 

"If you get people out on the streets, you are going to have to tell cars it’s a new day, a new culture, you don’t have primacy over our streets, you have to share them," says Wells. "And frankly when you match a bicyclist up against a car, you know the bicyclist is going to lose every single time."

The bill, expected to be introduced on Tuesday, would give cyclists the right to file a civil lawsuit against drivers, and to be reimbursed for their legal fees if they win.

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